WSJ: Apple top cop indicted

From "Apple Security Chief Offered iPads to Police as a Bribe for Gun Permits, Prosecutors Allege" ($) in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal:

Apple's head of security has been indicted on bribery charges for a scheme in which prosecutors allege he offered iPads to secure gun permits for his company’s employees.

Thomas Moyer allegedly promised to give 200 iPads to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office to get four concealed carry licenses, according to Jeffrey Rosen, district attorney of the Bay Area county where Apple is based. The charges are part of a broader probe into the sheriff’s office.

Two high-ranking sheriff’s office officials, Undersheriff Rick Sung and Captain James Jensen, were indicted on a charge of requesting the bribe. The two men held back on issuing the permits until Mr. Moyer “agreed to donate close to $70,000 worth of iPads,” said Mr. Rosen. “The donation was pulled back at the eleventh hour when our search warrants into this probe began.”

Ed Swanson, an attorney for Mr. Moyer, who runs global security at Apple, said his client was innocent and that the indictment was the result of a continuing dispute between the district attorney and the sheriff.

My take: A pretty misleading lead. Palo Alto Online's version puts these indictments in the context of the district attorney's two year investigation of Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith's reelection campaign, which has led so far to the indictment of 13 people, most of whom presumably offered cash, not iPads.


  1. Bart Yee said:
    Articles generate more clicks if they start w/Apple. IMO, 2 particular Sheriffs held permits until applicants came up w/something of value. That’s more solicitation IMO & Moyer got trapped in it but never delivered. Apple investigated, see below. Doesn’t appear Moyer initially went to Sheriffs w/quid pro quo bribe.

    “We expect all of our employees to conduct themselves with integrity. After learning of the allegations, we conducted a thorough internal investigation and found no wrongdoing,“ said Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock.

    “Thomas Moyer, who has run Apple’s security department since 2013, according to his LinkedIn page, had applied for concealed-weapons permits, according to the release. The sheriff’s office held up the application, the news release alleges, until Moyer agreed to get Apple to donate $70,000 worth of iPads.

    Through his attorney, Ed Swanson, Moyer denied the allegations and said there was no quid pro quo. Moyer helped arrange a donation of iPads to a new education center for the sheriff’s office, Swanson said, but that donation was not connected with four concealed-carry permits issued to Apple employees.

    “He did nothing wrong and has acted with the highest integrity throughout his career. We have no doubt he will be acquitted at trial,” Swanson said in a statement.”

    Certainly will be an Apple PR headache in the short term.

    November 24, 2020
  2. Dan Scropos said:
    Good enough for me:

    Apple, in a brief statement, echoed its support for Moyer on Monday.

    “We expect all of our employees to conduct themselves with integrity. After learning of the allegations, we conducted a thorough internal investigation and found no wrongdoing,” the Cupertino-based company said.

    November 24, 2020
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    Moyer’s attorney, Ed Swanson of Swanson & McNamara, said in a statement that his client is innocent and his reputation is tarnished by “baseless charges.” Call it quid pro quo or pay-to-play, it looks bad, it smells bad, it is bad and if it happened it is illegal, eroding public confidence in those involved in the criminal justice system and working for Apple.

    I suspect Mr. Moyer is caught-up in an unsavory scenario where Apple will support him publicly in the interim but in the months to come Apple will give Mr. Moyer an early retirement party as the head of Apple Security moves on to another new phase in his career or life.

    November 24, 2020
  4. Steven Philips said:
    Hard to know the details but on reading the initial stories it appears less like “bribery” (initiated by Mr. Moyer,) than rather unwisely succumbing to extortion. He should have reported it so he’s not “clean” but it does seem a misdirection by the prosecutor.
    Even so, I suspect Jerry’s right about the eventual – and appropriate? – response by Apple.

    November 24, 2020
    • David Emery said:
      I could see the sheriff saying, “We have a real backlog of applications, and part of the problem is insufficient computers to process the applications.”

      Now that could well be a solicitation. But if the Apple donations were made to the department (rather than to the sheriff) under terms something like this, I suspect a conviction would be hard to get.

      At the end of the day, this smells more like “clickbait” on the part of the DA and the fight with the sheriff than a serious prosecution.

      November 24, 2020
  5. Thomas Larkin said:
    IMHO it’s way too soon to start speculating about how this may end up, and that just feeds the trolls anyway. At first blush I like the defense position, and am inclined to give weight to Apple’s initial finding.

    November 24, 2020
  6. Gregg Thurman said:
    If the solicitation originated with the Sheriff’s office, prosecution will be very difficult under entrapment rules (crime originated in minds of Sheriffs).

    November 24, 2020
  7. Fred Stein said:
    Head scratcher. Surely Thomas Morey has seen dozens of low-level shakedowns in his career. Why succumb? He could easily have gone to the DA.

    That said, I read elsewhere that for about 25% of the CCW permits over the last few years, there was a contribution to Sheriff Laurie Smith’s campaigns.

    Wait and see.

    November 24, 2020

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